I bought a 2008 Escape after my 2001 Escape started getting up there in miles. I have had no major problems at all. I'm not crazy about the interior of the XLT- the console is worthless- but I wanted the V6, so I didn't get the XLS. I've had no breakdowns, and only one repair (a recall for the AC/transmission fluid problem that others have encountered). I couldn't be happier.
Good gas mileage, plenty of room, back seats easily fold down.
The console is impossible to use because of it's location; Too much plastic on the front end; remove some of the bells and whistles from the XLT for those of us who like 'em a little plainer.